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The Sweet Tooth Solution

By  Charlene Renberg Winters (BA ’73, MA ’96)

Megan Faulkner Brown creates bakeshop havens


and wins honors—one cupcake at a time.

Photo by Joe Shmoe

22 Cupcake Magazine • March 2019


W hen Megan Faulkner Brown (’02), of cupcakes. Each store is designed with where they made cookie dough, scooped it
Lehi, Utah, walked into her local bank nostalgic charm and could easily be a store into balls, and froze them for delivery to ho-
in April 2012, the teller began insisting he on Disneyland’s Main Street. “I’m all about tels and schools that wanted to offer fresh-
knew her from somewhere. making memories,” she says. “What’s real- ly baked goodies. At BYU she toyed with
“I didn’t know him, but I finally asked ly important in life is relationships and the the idea of majoring in political science—
whether he ever watched the TV show memories and associations you have with but opted for a home
Cupcake Wars,” Faulkner Brown says. your loved ones. We try to create an atmo- and family life ma-
Instantly recognizing her as a contestant
on the show, the teller popped from behind
sphere in our shops to facilitate just that.
We call the bakeshops a haven for people
jor because, as
she explains,
“It was
the counter and asked to have his photo who share a common belief in the magic “I wanted to my first
taken with her. of sweets.” do something noncelebrity
Cupcake Wars had aired the previous
night and Faulkner Brown had walked
Faulkner Brown began learning her skills
in the kitchens of her mother and grand-
that related to
family togeth-
‘celebrity
off with the $10,000 first-place honor mother and often shared her treats with erness.” moment.’”
for creating cupcakes using ingredients school friends, her brothers’ sports teams, However, she
that ranged from Brie cheese and cran- and other families on special occasions. act­ually worked in pol-
berries to sweet potatoes and hazelnut “I loved to give my creations away and itics for several years in Washington, D.C.,
cocoa spread. remember my sister teasing me one year for then–Utah Rep. Christopher B. Cannon
“I guess it was my first noncelebrity that we were not going to drive around (BS ’75, JD ’80). As a federal employee,
‘celebrity moment,’” she laughs. Faulkner Christmas Eve delivering treats to every she did field and case work, but she also
Brown founded the Sweet Tooth Fairy, single person I knew.” became a technical expert for the staff. “I
a chain of 11 bakeries in Utah, Arizona, She learned fundamental skills by work- made a website and met computer-related
and Texas that sells cake bites, brown- ing for a bakery during high school, and needs,” she explains. “There was a great
ies, cookies, and cakes in addition to she participated in a small family business need for such services, so I taught myself

Photo by Joe Shmoe

March 2019 • Cupcake Magazine 23


graphic and web programs. I learned the Employees from the Rachael Ray tele- er media corporations]—likes our coconut
importance of social media and a strong vision show saw the list and contacted cake bites and even flew his private plane
web presence, something I have incorpo- Faulkner Brown in 2009. She was invited to to one of our store openings.”
rated into my own business.” participate in a segment of the show called “This is such a wonderful opportunity for
Additionally, although baking was “Snack of the Day” and prepared 900 cake me and my family,” Faulkner Brown says.
not her job, she volunteered when­ ever bites for the audience. “We’re in the business of making memories.
gift baskets were needed. “This was a It was hectic timing because she and her People come to us to celebrate birthdays,
no-brainer,” Faulkner Brown says. “The husband, Ethan, were within three weeks weddings, and other special occasions.
Cannon team bought the ingredients, and of opening their first Sweet Tooth Fairy They come to us for funerals. I learned the
I baked and assembled the baskets.” shop. More than a thousand cupcake fans art of hospitality from my sweet dad, who
Faulkner Brown continued working for visited the store the first day. passed away in 2004, and that spirit is re-
Cannon two political cycles after she got Many other orders followed, including a flected in every aspect of the Sweet Tooth
married, until he lost his 2008 reelection bid. 2011 debut appearance on the QVC shop- Fairy. I kept my maiden name in addition to
“I decided to pursue a career in baking. ping network promoting Valentine’s Day with my married name as a way to honor him.”
I always thought my vocation might some- a package called “Love at First Bite.” More She adds, “Baking was magic to me as
day be larger than just me, so I obtained than 36,000 of her cake bites sold in seven a child. It still is.”
a cottage food license and converted the minutes. Faulkner Brown appeared again
basement into a bakery.” on Rachael Ray in spring 2012 to highlight
She considers herself a “foodie” and how being on the famous cook’s show has
sought others interested in food through changed her life. And word continues to
the blogosphere. An especially fortunate spread about the Sweet Tooth Fairy.
blog connection came through a popular “We’ve reached out beyond our stores
site called CakeSpy.com. She sent a and cater for other groups,” she says, “in-
sel­ection of her cake bites to Jessie Moore cluding Disney in Anaheim. One of our great
Oleson of CakeSpy, who then listed them customers—Sumner Redstone, a majority
among her 25 top treats that year. owner of Paramount Pictures [among oth-

Photo by Joe Shmoe

24 Cupcake Magazine • March 2019


Black and White Chocolate
Cupcakes

Ingredients
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup and 2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup sour cream
3 eggs
¾ cup ready-to-eat chocolate pudding
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Photo by Joe Shmoe
Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake pan cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds until well combined.

Add wet ingredients and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and resume mixing
on medium speed for an additional minute. Stop mixer and fold in chocolate chips.

Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter 3/4 full. Bake about 15–18 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick
inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

White Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup white chocolate chips or 6 ounces white chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2⅓ cups powdered sugar

Directions
To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for one
minute. Add melted chocolate and vanilla; mix for an additional minute. Add powdered sugar gradually, beating until
light and fluffy after each addition.

Spread the frosting on the chocolate cupcakes. Garnish with fresh raspberries, mini chocolate chips, or chocolate sprin-
kles.

March 2019 • Cupcake Magazine 25